The Future Of Canterbury Is In Our Hands: Draft Long-Term Plan 2021-31 Consultation Open
Today the Canterbury Regional Council (Environment Canterbury) has released the draft Long-Term Plan 2021-31 for community feedback.
The Council’s draft Long-Term Plan 2021-31 was made public last week as part of the papers for the 25 February Council meeting. It contains two options for consultation, both proposing a notable increase in activity and funding required to deliver it.
At the 25 February Council meeting, Chair Jenny Hughey said the proposals to increase activity and accelerate environmental outcomes across the region respond to what the Council is hearing strongly from the community and from central government to address such issues as climate change, natural hazards, water quality and biodiversity.
No decision will be made on the final Long-Term Plan until after the Council has received and reviewed submissions from the community, including hearing in-person from those who wish to speak to their submission, and deliberating on all the information and views that are sent in. It is therefore very important that people have their say now.
Just over half of Environment Canterbury’s income comes from the ratepayers of the region. So any increase in activity generally results in some increase in rates. The percentage increase in rates that is attached to each of the proposed options (24.5% for Option 1 and 18% for Option 2) refers to the percentage increase in the total amount paid to the council in rates. This is not the percentage increase that everyone will see on their rates bill.
To help illustrate what different ratepayers will pay, we have a new tool ratescalculator.ecan.govt.nz where you can put in your own address and see what each option will do to the dollar amount you will pay. We also have our existing rates ‘bubble’ tool that shows the breakdown of income – ie how much are rates, grants, user-pays – for each portfolio, programme and project proposed to be undertaken. You can view this information at rates.ecan.govt.nz
For more information on the draft Long-Term Plan and to make a submission, members of the community should go to haveyoursay.ecan.govt.nz/ltp where they can view the consultation document material, access the two rates tools, and complete the online submission form.
Of the two options for consultation, Option 1 represents work costing $246.54m – about $46m more than this year. That includes all statutorily required work and provision to accelerate key projects, including public transport and the Government’s Essential Freshwater package. Of that, $143m would be rate-funded, with the remainder made up of government grants and user-pays charges – an average increase of $136 per rateable property.
Option 2 represents work costing $240.19m – about $40m more than this year. It will deliver all statutorily required work, but compared to Option 1, some projects are delayed, scaled back or not proposed to be funded. Of that, $135m would be rate-funded, with the remainder made up of government grants and user-pays charges – an average increase of $110 per rateable property.
- Public consultation will run from 8 March to 11 April.
- Hearings are scheduled for 27/28 April and 4 May.
- Deliberations are scheduled for 28 May.
- Adoption of the Long-Term Plan 2021-31 is scheduled for 17 June.
- The Long-Term Plan will become effective from 1 July.